23% of medical practices considering EHR switch, survey reveals

February 19, 2013

Dissatisfied EHR users reported problems interfacing with other software, overly complex connectivity and networking schemes, and concerns related to integration with mobile devices.

A new survey of nearly 17,000 active electronic health records (EHR) system users found that about 23% of currently implemented physician practices are frustrated enough to consider switching vendors.

Dissatisfied EHR users reported problems interfacing with other software, overly complex connectivity and networking schemes, and concerns related to integration with mobile devices, according to a survey from Black Book Market Research.

Federal initiatives to increase EHR adoption rates have been amped up over the past few years, particularly since the passage of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Since then, several efforts to increase EHR adoption have emerged, including attaching payment incentives to EHR implementation.

Still, physicians have frequently complained about several aspects of the federal government's "meaningful use" incentive program. The American Medical Association, for example, recently outlined five problems it sees with meaningful use, including that the program is too stringent, takes a one-size-fits-all approach and does nothing to address usability concerns associated with EHR systems.

Participants in the Black Book survey would likely agree with many of those assessments. The specialties expressing the highest rates of discontent with their EHRs were nephrology (88%), urology (85%) and ophthalmology (80%).

Conversely, the specialties with the highest rates of EHR satisfaction were internal medicine (89%), family practice (85%), general practice (82%) and pediatrics (80%). That may be because most EHRs are designed with that customer base in mind; a recent study showed that family physicians outpaced all other specialties on EHR adoption.

Survey participants most frequently cited the following criteria as "must-haves" for their EHR solutions:

  • vendor viability;

  • data integration and network sharing;

  • adoption of mobile devices;

  • health information exchange support and connectivity; and

  • perfected interfaces with lab, pharmacy, radiology, medical billing partners, and others.

 

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